A bill to update the MOT test for all diesel vehicles to include an efficiency test for diesel particulate filters (DPFs) and help save lives from air pollution has passed its first reading.

The 10-minute rule bill on DPFs was submitted to the House of Commons this week by Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman and it passed with no objections.

A second reading will take place on 18 March.

The bill calls on the government to update the MOT so that DPF filters with an emission limit set at 250,000 particles per cm3 can be tested.

Sheerman is chair of the Westminster Commission for Road Air Quality (WCRAQ) and it said that although legislation is moving in the right direction in the UK, more should be done.

WCRAQ said introducing a stricter MOT test would identify faulty missing or tampered with diesel particulate filters and ensure that these vehicles are taken off the road and fixed.

Sheerman said: “If a DPF is faulty, a single vehicle can produce the same pollution as a three-lane, 360-mile-long traffic jam of vehicles with compliant filters.

“That is the distance from Huddersfield to Land’s End.

“Shocked? So was I.”